Judiciary: Bench, Bar judicial reforms committee submits report

CJN
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen

Judiciary as the arm of government saddled with the duties of interpreting the law and giving legal flavor to every matter as it relates to government, individuals and organizations in the domile it has jurisdiction over.

The judiciary is the last hope of every common man and it purpose is to serve as a court of justice and equity in the society.

The Nigerian legal system is battling to retain it dignity, respect and public trust hence the present reform of the country’s judiciary.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen, has received the report of the 13-man Steering Committee which he set up to review the operations of the country’s judiciary and make sound recommendations on the justice operations of the judiciary arm of government  has submitted its report.

The CJN’s Senior Special Assistant (Media) and Publicity, Mr Awassam Bassey, through a statement disclosed on Sunday that the committee led by the Secretary of the Federal Judicial Service Commission, Mrs. Bilkisu Bashir, submitted its report on Friday.

It was disclosed that the review committee was inaugurated early this year on June 5, with a time frame of one month was tasked by the CJN to among others “coordinate a comprehensive reform of the country’s judiciary.”

It was also disclosed that the committee adhere to the given time; not much was done, but believed that it has set pace for subsequent reviews and reforms.

While submitting the report on Friday, the Chairman of the Committee and Secretary, Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), Mrs. Bilkisu Bashir of disclosed that her team consulted with former CJNs, as well as retired and serving judges of various courts before arriving at the recommendations contained in the report.

Mrs. Bilkisu Bashir, while submitting the report, asserted that the committee teams interacted with several critical legal stakeholders in the legal sector, retired Chief Justices of Nigeria, serving and retired Justices as well as Judges, to arrive at resolutions, in line with the terms of reference that would help the judiciary.

Bilikisu Bashir further reiterates and asserted, “From the discussions we had with the stakeholders, it is obvious that everyone wants to key into this reform programme of the Hon CJN. Committee members contributed immensely. Arguments for and against were very educative and instructive.

“We thank you for the opportunity you gave to us to contribute to the good of the federal judiciary and to the Nigerian judiciary as a whole.”

Bilikisu Bashir thanked the CJN for the opportunity given to the committee to contribute to the good of Nigerian Judiciary.

The CJN asserted in the remarks, “You were carefully chosen for the assignment basically because you are the engine room of the federal judiciary. You are in the administration; you have been in the administration.

“This committee is a very crucial in the history of Nigeria’s Judiciary when this chapter in that history would be written. We have to thank God for making us part and parcel of that chapter in the history of the Nigerian Judiciary. You were carefully chosen for the assignment basically because you are the engine room of the federal judiciary.

“You are in the administration; you have been in the administration. You ought to know what our problems are, because as they say, the wearer of the shoe knows where it pinches.

“At least, it is our duty to lay the first foundation for solving our problem; nobody can come from outside to salvage the Nigerian Judiciary. The solution must come from within us.

“We have to do so because if we don’t do so, the whole edifice will fall on our heads and we will have ourselves to blame. I am grateful for the sacrifices you have made and I am glad that you are part of the signpost put for me as I navigate, and I seek your continued support and prayers.

“There is no need allowing files to pile up in your offices without finding solutions to them. The owners of those files are seeking solutions and it is your responsibility to attend to them

The CJN submitted that the committee team, who were drawn from various judiciary institutions that the solution to the problems in the judiciary must come within the arm of government.

That their names would be written in gold when the judiciary reforms they recommended begin to bear fruits towards making the country’s judiciary among the best in the world.

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